It’s no secret that viruses, allergens and other foreign particles can cause flare-ups with our sinuses and lead to undesirable symptoms. Unfortunately, it turns out that pollutants in the air can also play a role in chronic sinus conditions.
A recent study from Johns Hopkins University has revealed that air pollution in many areas can now lead to chronic sinusitis, more commonly known as a sinus infection. The findings were published June 28 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
To shed light on the information, Ear, Nose, Throat & Allergy Associates’ own Dr. Greg Davis, M.D. spoke with Seattle news station KIRO 7, which also interviewed one of Dr. Davis’s patients.
More pollutants over time means more patients will have a need for inflammation relief.
“As we see more and more air pollution in the future, we are going to see more patients with inflammatory sinus disease,” Dr. Davis told KIRO 7 in his interview.
The entire news story can be found here.
What the New Study Shows
Researchers examined patients who experience sinusitis, specifically chronic rhinosinusitis, in areas known for heavier air pollution. This included assessing 6,102 patients ages 18 and older, factoring in more than 2,000 people who showed no signs or symptoms of chronic sinusitis before later being diagnosed.
The research team found that patients exposed to higher concentrations of pollutants long-term were more likely to have chronic rhinosinusitis. Exposure to higher levels of pollution were associated with an approximately one-and-a-half-fold increase in developing the disorder.
“To our knowledge, this is the first study to report that long-term exposure to fine particulate matter air pollution increases the odds of developing CRS, particularly the most severe form of the disease,” Dr. Murugappan “Murry” Ramanthan, M.D., said in a news release about the study.
What Can Be Done?
Thankfully, there are already several treatment options available for those who experience chronic sinusitis and frequent sinus infections.
One of the safest and most modern procedures continues to be balloon sinuplasty, which helps expand the airways and remove any fluids retained within the sinus cavities.
Our board-certified specialists can review several different options that can help you find relief fast. If you’re experiencing congestion, sinus pain or other symptoms, give us a call at Ear, Nose, Throat & Allergy Associates today!